It all started as a bud when my cousin Samuel met his first cousin on his dad’s side by the name of Clay. Clay had DJ equipment and was for the most part he just messed around in his room. This was like back in 1984/1985. Clay could scratch and transformer scratch, actually the first person I ever saw do it. We’d go over Clay’s house on the weekends and hang with him and his cousin Ricky. Clay had many records and at that time, it seemed like all the records he had were on the Tommy Boy label. Def Jam had a few bullshit records like the one’s by Jazzy Jay whoever the hell he was. I remember this one particular record on Def Jam. It was either Russel Simmons or Jazzy Jay, they may have been the same person who knows. But he was just talking shit on the record over a beat.
We hung together all summer long, Clay, Ricky, Samuel and I. Our main mission was to get some pussy. Clay was a virgin, I was a virgin, and Ricky was a virgin. Samuel was about the only one who had pussy on his dick because he was the oldest. We hung out over by Delaware and Jackson Street which was where Samuel’s father lived at the time. We hung out in the Palmyra Heights, which was where Clay lived. That summer, I met Tina, Sandra, Sydonia, Lavonia, Pam, Reena, Marlette, Wendy and the three girls who had the white Honda Spree Scooters. They were like the only people in the whole entire town with Scooters period.
Occasionally, our little gang would go swimming at Packard Park. It was then that I met Carla and her sister whose name, I forget her name, and I also met Shay who I instantly feel in love with. Shay was the most beautifullest thing. She was mixed, and in 1985, you know most niggaz was brainwashed to think that the lighter the skin and the thinner the hair, the better the person. Don’t get me wrong, even though she is a lot heavier now, Shay is still beautiful. Those days at the local pool were the good old dayz. Many Black people at the pool chillin; teenagers dunkin’ each other and shit like that; feelin’ the girls up under the water.
As summer passed, we were all still virgins. Clay’s Djing interest eventually had all of us interested in Djing and learning how to scratch. Samuel’s mom had bought him two turntables, a mixer, and a microphone, and he started buying 12 inches and albums with his extra money. I dabbled a little with the scratching. I could catch the record on beat and do a little scratch routine and then let it go. I remember my first record experimenting with scratching was Sugar Hill Gang “8th Wonder”. I used to go over Samuel’s house with like really cheap 90 minute tapes, like 3 for $1.99 from Woolworth is where I used to get them. I would record albums, and most albums would fit on one side of a 90 minute tape, so I’d put two albums on one tape. Let’s see, I had albums by UTFO, Boogie Boys, Skinny Boys, Fat Boys, Dougie Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew. I remember Samuel coming over to my house bragging about how dope the first Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince album was. He was telling me about how Ready Rock C could beat box so well, etc. He was right, I taped the album and it was the bomb, especially the beat box song that started like “When we rock the house there is no doubt / that me and Ready C will turn it out.” That was the shit!
I also would record many twelve inch singles at the end of the albums when there was room left on the tape. Shit like “We’re Only Buggin”, “Listen Up”, Dana Dane’s “Nightmares” and “Delancey Street”, Sweet Tee’s many twelve inch singles she had out before she put them all on one album like four years later. This was also when I recognized the name, Produced by Herby “Luv Bug” Azor as the guy making the, always funky, beats for Salt & Pepa, Dana Dane and Sweet Tee. I still have these tapes to this day.
During the course of time, the idea had come about to throw parties in Clay’s basement. Samuel and them came up with a name for themselves and got some sweatshirts made with an airbrush design, and the parties began at $.50 a head, and $.25 for soda. At the end of each party they would count up the money and split it like five ways between Samuel, Clay and Ricky, Samuel’s sister Shaneequa and Clay’s sister Shaniece. The parties got to be well known too. Every weekend they were packed. Samuel, Clay and Ricky were the DJ’s. This was around the time when LL COOL J ‘s “Radio” single dropped, and “Rock The Bell” was the shit. Ready For The World was the group to slow dance to the song “Let Me Love You Down”. I was always like the youngest one at these parties. I remember I would always slow dance with this one girl because we were like the only two left not dancing. I liked Sandra but she was going with this older guy Tim and he always had her on the floor or grinding and kissing on her on the basement wall. The parties were going well until the Beta Boys started fucking it up and fighting. The Beta Boys, well the only one I really remember was William and his brother Lester. It was about five or six of them total. One night they tore up the wall paneling of the basement. From that weekend on, there were no more parties thrown.
We’d (Shaniece, Samuel and Shaneequa, Clay and me and Ricky and Ricky’s sister) all go to concerts together. The first concerts being the ones at The Star Palace in Youngstown, OH. We seen Salt & Pepa, Heavy D & The Boyz, The Fat Boys, and Salt & Pepa, and Heavy D &The Boyz again. I wonder if Heavy D or Salt & Pepa remember The Star Palace.